Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bright Happy Morning

It's a bright, happy morning here in Old Fart Country. Zinnia is far from her normal self but she is eating a few bites on her own and has had a few laps of water without being harassed to do so. She can get into her litter box and get out without help. Her "cover-up abilities" aren't what they should be, but we can live with that - and even that will probably improve. For the first time, she is working to groom herself. The screened porch is now her domain along with the foyer that leads from the sunroom to the porch. She seems to be enjoying the relative freedom. She's not steady when she walks and lays down to rest before moving on towards her destination. Sort story: We now believe that she will be able to enjoy a pain free relatively normal life and happy life. She's lovin' all this attention.

This afternoon our gathering will be quiet. Joe, Keith and family, and the race will be our day. Buddy and family have out of town guests so we won't see them today. I'm not cooking but there are snacks and drinks. Next Sunday should see a return to normal at the Hooper Household.

I want to thank those who have offered concern, hope, and understanding this past week. You have no idea how much it helped us. Neither Harry nor I knew how much this cat means to us. I've complained about how hot she is when she wants to sleep against me but during this
ordeal I've wished she would just be OK and insisting on sleeping against me - or curled up on my night table.

Again, thanks for "being there"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tired and Concerned

Another short post. We took Zinnia back to her doctor today. She had an IV and vitamin shot. She also has some "high calorie palatable dietary supplement" that we have to force feed her every 2 to 3 hours. It's nasty looking stuff but if it helps then that's good. She does have more strength and is making the attempt to move around. It's still a struggle but she isn't in pain. With her 24 hour nursing staff (Harry and me) she is doing OK. Monday we take her back to her doctor and at that time we have to make a decision based on her progress - or lack of it.

James was with us for a while this afternoon. He brought his stuffed squirrel for Zinnia. He thought it might make her feel better. We have her in a baby play pen and James spent a good amount of time beside it talking to her and telling her about his day. He also told her that he and Jesse would pray for her. (Needless to say this old fart had to hurry to another room so James wouldn't see tears.)

Sunday will be a slow day here. Keith and family will stop by and Joe will, too. I'm not cooking - can everyone say "Sandwich Sunday" or "you're on your own"? I don't expect Sarah and Baby Hooper will be here - Buddy will be working. We'd love to see Sarah and Baby H. but understand that she might not want to get involved in the confusion here. Sarah, if you feel that you can make it, come right on over.

So much for a short post. I always have words to spill.

Take care everyone. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just Dropping In to Say Hello

It's been a long time since yesterday morning when Zinnia was first sick. Last night she cried - more like howling - every time I turned off TV and the light or if I left the room. She was scared and confused. (She's not mobile) There's no indication that she's in pain. I slept in the sunroom with both the light and TV on. The recliner wasn't a very comfy bed. Zinnia is still not OK. Tomorrow we talk to the doctor to see what he thinks about recovery. We don't hold out much hope.

The contractor I selected to do the master bath still hasn't called. I've left messages and sent emails. This is a cost plus contract and I need to know my allowances for things like tile, vanity, etc. I won't sign any contract until the allowances are stated in writing. This old pony has been ridden before - I won't sign anything until I know the written word is the way I want it.

Now that I've sounded off I feel much better. I'm just so very thankful that the kids are all healthy and doing well. Hope things in your world are smooth and treating you well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bad News

On my last post Zinnia was the first picture I posted - her eight year old portrait, if you will. Today her life is not assured. This morning she was having trouble walking. We took her to the pet hospital as soon as we could get her there. It is obvious that the problem is neurological and the doctor confirmed our fears. She has rapid eye movement, low temp, and her left front leg seems to be involved. Long story short - Doctor gave her an IV of prednisone, a regular shot of the same, and meds to take for the next five days. If, at that time, she's no better we have to face and accept the fact that she'll leave us. I am sorry to say that I have little hope for improvement. (The words stroke and brain tumor were used.)

Judy, when you read this I hope you aren't too sad. Zinnia was your baby and she has become ours. Pa and I are doing all we can for her. She isn't in pain and has a good bed with water and food by her side. She's in the foyer between the sunroom and the screen porch. She is laying by the french door and is being still.

Harry and I will be the best caretakers we can. Will post again when things settle down.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picture Day

Today is picture day. Harry was the photographer; however, Zinnia was supervising. Otherwise the pictures wouldn't have that special zip. (What special zip, you ask? Who knows.)

The azaleas are blooming for the last time before old man frost comes to visit.

Harry's orchids are just starting to bloom. They are young plants - not very large. Give them another year or so.

He had just watered the plants. The camera caught drops of water just ready to fall.

Here is the bittersweet that I brought from the mountains (Appalachia) in 1978. It's still thriving. The common name is "Hearts A-bustin" Appropriate isn't it?
This is a neighbors rose. It's so pretty that I just couldn't resist adding it.

Hope everyone enjoys the pictures. My mind is a blank - can't think of anything to say that's worth hearing.
Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back anytime.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm Way Behind Schedule

Here it is Sunday and I haven't accomplished my goal for this past week. So what else is new. It seems it takes me five days to do the same amount of work that I could accomplish is two short days just a few years ago. Just have to adjust my expectations and quit expecting something I know is impossible for me. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Harry's orchids are beginning to bloom and they are going to be beautiful. I'll post pictures of them when they're fully open and Harry makes pics. In the meantime here is a picture of one of my succulents that's currently blooming on the screen porch. Harry made the picture for me. He does so much better than I do with the new camera.
I have lots of Big Adventure pictures and will post more if anyone is interested. My header picture was made on our trip. We were on 613 (a small back road) through the hills and mountains of Appalachia. Don't remember if I said that before.
Kids will be here soon. I need to start making preparations. This is my very favorite part of the week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More Big Adventure Pictures

This is just a few of the pictures we captured as we traveled the backroads from Windsor, Ontario, to Niagara Falls.

A little church at the end of a road caught my eye. It is lovely.

Following are two pics made at two of the many, many commercial greenhouses along the Lake Erie waterfront. The owner provided a personal tour of his houses. Both Harry and I were just overwhelmed at the size of the plants and the number (and size) of greenhouses.

Worker picking cucumbers . These tomato plants are over 19 feet tall and have been producing for over 8 months.
Scene along the waterfront, Lake Erie, Ontario
Barns and a lovely farm house not far from the banks of Lake Erie, Ontario
It's hard to believe that I haven't posted since Sunday. I've been reading and commenting but not taking time to write. Monday was a date with my dental hygienist - no further work needed beyond cleaning. Tuesday saw a meeting with the contractor I've chosen to do our master bath - and decisions, decisions. Then a follow-up appointment with my medical doctor - just routine, no problems. Today was mostly a chill day. Also, Jesse stayed with us while Mary took James to music class. Tomorrow I pick James up from school around noon. In the afternoon I have to begin making plans to clear the deck for the upcoming season. Friday will be play day. Folks, I don't know how I had time to work.

Fall is in the air and I'm appreciating the cooler temps. There is so much to do and it's good that we don't have to fight high 90 degree weather.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nana's Brag Post

Guess who came to visit today. We were thrilled when Sarah and Baby Hooper came through the sunroom door. Today was a venture out alone for them - Buddy had to work so he missed the gathering.

Here are a few pics of our growing four month old little man.

My gums are killing me!

I have a present for you, Mommy.

I can manage this job all by myself.

We are truly blessed.

Let's have a wonderful Monday - as Mondays go.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Few Pictures

As soon as Harry has time to downsize the pic files I'll post. Busy day. Tired.

Are you being bombarded with "no gas available" stories? We rushed right out and filled my car. Harry's car was already full. Never say we don't participate in panic.

Here are a couple of large size pics as a starter.
Indianapolis' Bell South "Batman Bldg"
My dream car.
Canadian Horseshoe FallsAmerican Falls
Angry Aussie Parakeet

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home Sweet (Cluttered) Home

We're home and tired. I was happy to step on the scales and see that I didn't gain even one pound!! I certainly ate enough to add 10 pounds - guess I ran it off.

Most things are unpacked and sorted. The boys came by late today and we were able to give them their loot. That helped to clear some of the clutter. There is still loot for Baby Hooper and Miss Maddie-Cakes. Maddie's will be waiting for her when she gets here for Thanksgiving. Baby Hooper will collect his in the next few days. Harry's loot consists of polo shirts from each place we visited. (He collects these shirts.) I really splurged on my special treat. I bought a fantastic piece of blown glass. The artist is one I've seen on TV at least two times but I never thought I'd see him create his work much less own one. The colors are perfect and the form is unusual but really pretty. I may have to eat bread and water but I'll have the piece of art to admire. One of the bloggers I follow is a glass artist and I want to add a piece of her work to my growing collection as soon as she settles into working.

Everything here at home was just as we left it. Joe always does a marvelous job of keeping the tanks in tip-top shape and seeing to kitty's needs. Our mail was neatly stacked and waiting for us. I don't know what we'd do without our kids.

I'll post some of the pictures from the trip as soon as I can sort through them. Tomorrow I have to meet with the contractors who have the best bid for reworking our master bath. They can't begin until October so it will be a push to be ready for our Thanksgiving bash but I'll manage. I have to select tile, vanity cabinet, molding for the mirror, faucets for both lav and tub/shower, and light fixture. I'm electing to do my own painting - why? Because I actually enjoy doing it.

I hope everyone is having a happy evening. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Day in Paradise

This is one of many pictures of the falls. I hate to upload the pictures until they've been downsized because they are so slow to load on some computers.
I haven't visited many of your blogs since we've been on this Big Adventure but I certainly haven't forgotten any of you, my blogging friends. By the time our day of adventure is over I'm pretty used up.

We've enjoyed Canada beyond belief. It has been a wonderful experience. People here are friendly and ready to share information. We took the road along the lakes from Windsor to over halfway to Niagara. We were surprised to see acres and acres of commercial greenhouses. We stopped at one of the smaller ones that had a veggie and fruit sales store out front. Harry asked the owner what was being grown. Not only did he explain that they supply wholesalers with fruits and veggies but he volunteered to provide a complete tour of his houses. He was raising tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers - lots of them! We really enjoyed the tour and learned a lot about how these crops are grown for the wholesale market. This is just an example of the wonderful experience we are having. I have pictures of tomato plants that are almost twenty feet tall. They have been producing for almost 8 months and will continue for some time.

I also learned that there is wine made from grapes that have been allowed to freeze. I believe it's called icewine. I think most of you know that wine is my drink. There are more wine makers here than I can count. I want to stop at the duty free store and buy our limit to carry home.

We're going to continue our Big Adventure by traveling home through Appalachia. We have driven roughly 1,100 miles so far. Not one fuss as of tonight.

I've gotten carried away with writing tonight. I better close and get to sleep. The sandman has already visited Harry and he is sleeping.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Morning in Windsor, Ontario

Trip going well. Spent a lot of time in the river front parks. Love it!!! Harry is doing the photography. Today we drive to Niarara Falls - scheduled for three days in the general area. More when I have time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Day Two Ends

Still in Indianapolis and had a full day. Indy track and museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and a driving tour of downtown - a really full day. Wonderful dinner at Abuels (spelling). We're back in our room early - we're tired and there's no race tonight (on TV) because of Hannah. Glad we're here and not there. We've had wonderful weather. Tomorrow we head to Windsor, Ontario, via Detroit. It isn't a long drive so we'll have time to explore along the way. Took oodles of pics. Will post when home. We still haven't had a fuss and are happy with each other.

Safe travel, fun things to do, good food, comfy beds - I still say we're two luck old farts. Hope everyone is well and happy. Until later - bye, bye.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

From the Road - Indianapolis

We are in Indianapolis for tonight and tomorrow night. The Indianapolis speedway is on the agenda for tomorrow and maybe the downtown area (it's wonderful). We may also visit a supplier that Harry uses for reef "stuff."

Our trip was good - no bad weather - traffic was bearable - we didn't fight once. What more could we want? Food? Yep, we had a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a dinner at a little sports bar that looks like it's a locals hangout. Food was excellent and reasonable. Their house wine is excellent - need I say more?

I did take pics today but I have no way to resize them on the computer. Guess I'll have to wait until we're home to post a pic-video.

Hope everyone is well and that none of you are having issues with all the bad weather. Until later, nite-nite.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Final Plans

It's been decided. The big Adventure will begin on Thursday. Same rules apply; destination different. (We can be flexible when we need to be.) First stop Indianapolis, Ind. I really like Indianapolis and the surrounding area - it will be new to Harry. A couple of days there visiting museums and at least one night spot I know about for dinner. Second stop Detroit. Again not new to me but new to Harry. I want to visit the Shrine of the Little Flower, drive Harry around Grosse Pointe, and maybe dinner in Trappers Alley. We'll cross into Windsor, Ontario, via Ambassador Bridge (I hate the Detroit Windsor Tunnel) and overnight in Windsor. I want Harry to have the opportunity to photograph Detroit from Windsor's Riverside Park. Next is Niagara Falls, Ontario via highway CR-3. We will both be in new territory from here. We have no idea how long we will loiter in the Niagara Falls area (both Canadian and U.S.) but I'm sure we'll be there for a few days. Then we'll slowly ramble towards home. If anything in our path (whatever our path will be) looks interesting and something old farts can do we'll have time to that too. Does this sound like a big bite for two old folks? Hey, we're in a "can-do" mood.

I'll post as much as I can from the road. Ride along with us. If you have suggestions about what to do or where to go (careful here) please feel free to send them my way.

Today is get my head together day. Tomorrow is get everything together, car serviced and washed, and secure house. House sitter is ready and waiting so we'll have no worries there. Don't owe anyone $$$ so no one will miss us. Let our Big Adventure begin.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Good Days are Wonderful

Yep. Our Big Adventure is on hold for now. We may make the trip later or plan an entirely different Big Adventure. A Big Adventure is in our future - I'll let you know when I know just which one we'll choose.

Want to know what was the high light of my day? A picture is worth at least a thousand words. Our newest addition - Baby Hooper - is growing like wild fire.
Isn't he a keeper? I look rough but the smile is real.
I'm tired. nite-nite

Labor Day and All is Well

The last few days have been busy without much accomplished. My wheels are spinning but movement is s-l-o-w.

We are watching Hannah (storm) and thinking that it will be best if we postpone our Big Adventure. I don't think either of us is ready for the Big Adventure we might find under these conditions. I vote for home sweet home.

Today is quiet - most of the kids were here yesterday. Sarah fell and sprained her ankle and is home bound for a few days, so their little family was missed. Harry and I will drive out there later today. Baby Hooper is doing well and growing everyday, as his daddy said. Of course, Jesse and James were here and being their usual sweet little boy selves. James has learned a new phrase ("doing crafts") at pre-school. He got a piece of copy paper, put a few staples in it, took it to the kitchen table along with the box of colored pencils, and drew patterns around the staples. This "doing crafts" phase may prove very interesting. Harry allowed Jesse to take pictures with his (Harry's) new expensive camera and was surprised at the number of really good pictures Jesse was able to shoot. He stood in front of the tanks, aimed the lens, adjusted the focus (Harry showed him a few simple adjustments), and snapped lots of pictures. I was so amused to see that Jesse was doing exactly what he's watched Harry do.

Judy called us on Saturday to let us know that she and hubby have signed the contract on a new house to be built. They expect to be in their home just after the first of the year. Of course it's in the Phoenix area - I guess this means that they will settle there. Looking at the bright side - Nana and Papa will have a home away from home to visit and spoil our little grand daughter. We are so happy for them. They have done so well in such a short time. Way to go Kids!!

I'm not exactly sure where all my blog friends live. If any of you are in the path of these storms, please take care - don't take chances. I know some of you will get unbelievable amounts of rain. Be careful and stay dry. Thinking good thoughts for each and every one of you.

Hugs and blessings to all.